CBRS momentum grows as Ericsson and CommScope achieve interoperability success

Another significant proof point for the strength of the developing Citizen Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) wireless spectrum ecosystem in the US has been achieved with the successful interoperability testing of Ericsson and CommScope equipment.

Apr 12, 2018
Cityscape of Los Angeles, a city that will benefit from the 3.5GHz CBRS band

Rigorous testing across a range of scenarios confirmed that Ericsson’s radio infrastructure with CBRS spectrum support and CommScope’s Spectrum Access System (SAS) will work together in a CBRS network, while meeting governmental requirements and industry protocols, as well as CommScope’s and Ericsson’s respective quality standards.

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the 3.5GHz CBRS band for LTE use to improve wireless broadband access and performance in the US. Comprising 150 MHz of 3.5 GHz shared spectrum, the CBRS band has primarily been used by the federal government for radar systems. The FCC decision means the band has been approved for shared use with wireless small cells. The shared spectrum approach is seen as a key facilitator of predicted data growth from mobile broadband, IoT and fixed applications in the US.

CommScope is one of four Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) operators conditionally approved by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) in the US as Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) operators in the 3.5GHz CBRS band.

The successful CommScope testing means that Ericsson has now proven interoperability with three of the approved CBRS operators – following earlier successful interoperability testing with Federated Wireless and Google.


The CommScope test is one of the first successful interoperability tests using the Wireless Innovation Forum’s release 1.2 specifications. In a CBRS network, a SAS and Citizens Broadband Radio Service Device (CBSD) work together to ensure that the appropriate wireless signals are transmitted and received between the core network and end-user devices, while managing interference. An Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) works with the SAS to identify the wireless signals of incumbent users to avoid interference from CBSDs. Further details in the CommScope press release: CommScope and Ericsson Complete SAS Interoperability Testing for CBRS

Tom Gravely, Vice President of Research and Development, Network Solutions, CommScope, said: “CommScope’s team of architects, developers and engineers have been building an industry-leading SAS for nearly two years. Completion of interoperability testing with a major radio equipment provider such as Ericsson validates our SAS design and readies us for commercial deployment.”

 Paul Challoner, Vice President of Network Product Solutions, Ericsson, said: “Ericsson offers a comprehensive portfolio of CBRS network solutions that will help operators of all sizes deploy in this spectrum quickly and successfully. Additional milestones need to be reached for CBRS to become a reality, but we are pleased to complete interoperability testing with CommScope as part of the developmental process.”

Ericsson joined the CBRS Alliance in October 2016. The Alliance is dedicated to enabling a robust ecosystem towards making LTE-based CBRS solutions available, and developing, marketing and promoting LTE-based solutions utilizing the CBRS band.